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Reviewed by: Anna Dangoor

"The Laws of Bar Miswah" by Rabbi Ya'aqob Menashe is divided into two sections, one Hebrew, and one English. The English section is a summarised translation of the Hebrew part, laid out in point form, and detailing laws and customs relating to all aspects of a Bar Mitzvah.

This book is of interest to both those actually planning a Barmitzvah, and those who are purely intrigued by Jewish culture, and traditions of the time old practices that make up part of the celebration of a Bar Mitzvah. The Mitzrot of Sisith, and Tefillih are described in great detail, explaining the ten laws which must be followed when making the latter as well as such customs as making sure to touch the Sisith before the Tefillih when one comes to pray in the morning.

The book also discusses the Rabbinical opinions, as to when a boy actually reaches the required age of thirteen and one day, on which he has come of age, and can celebrate his Barmitzvah in order to show G-d that we are happy to take on the burden of his commandments.

Batmitzvahs are also briefly examined in the book, and it was interesting to discover that unlike with other commandments which women are exempt from, if a woman chooses to carry out the Mitzrah of Sisith she is considered proud and conceited.

All in all, although the English portion of the book is short, it is packed with a great deal of information and guidance, as to the intricacies of a subject which is important to all of us as Jews; the time of our lives when we accept responsibility before G-d for our actions; the Barmitzvah.



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